Home Bread-Bakers v104.n036.1

rye bread

Wed, 4 Aug 2004 09:52:51 EDT
For RisaG, my very best rye bread from my book "the bread bible."

For those who have the book, please note that there is a mistake on the 
recipe on page 326, on the flour mixture chart, the 2 1/4 cups bread flour 
weigh 12.3 ounces / 351 grams, and step #2: eliminate the words 'rye 
flour.' (Rye flour is used only in the sponge on page 325.)

The recipe is below.

p.s. i don't like adding the powdered "rye flavor" -- there's something 
synthetic about it. but to get the real true slightly sour flavor of ny rye 
i make the sourdough version on page 451 of "the bread bible". this is what 
i made two weeks ago to bring to florida for my father's 90th birthday! he 
too misses ny rye so much he wanted it in place of a cake (the sourdough 
pumpernickel as well!!!)


"Levy's" Real Jewish Rye Bread

Both of my parents were raised in the Bronx, but when I was growing up, we 
lived in Manhattan. Whenever my father had an excuse to return to the 
Bronx, he never came home without a freshly baked loaf from his favorite 
bakery. My favorite was the rye bread, studded with constellations of 
caraway seeds. (I always complained when he brought home the seedless 
variety, which he would do only when they sold out of the caraway one.)  My 
grandmother, who lived with us, would serve it to me spread thickly with 
unsalted butter, the top paved with rounds of sliced red radishes, lightly 
sprinkled with kosher salt, crushed between her thumb and index finger. To 
this day it is my favorite way to eat rye bread.

It has taken me years to get my rye bread to taste and feel just right. I 
like a wheaty flavor with not so much rye that it becomes bitter, and a 
chewy texture which is not so dense it becomes pasty. I love using La 
Cloche, a large, unglazed, earthenware platter with a dome-shaped top, 
especially for a double recipe as  during baking, the bread rises to fill 
the dome which gives it a lovely shape, moist texture and very crunchy top. 
The bread is still delicious and beautiful when made free-form.

For a 12 inch by 6 inch high bread, double the recipe but you will need to 
make it by hand or in a Bosch, Magic Mill, or commercial size mixer as it 
is too much dough for the average stand mixer to handle.

Time Schedule
Dough Starter (Sponge): Minimum 1 hours, Maximum 24 hours
Minimum Rising Time: About 3 1/4 hours
Oven Temperature: 450 F., then 400 F.
Baking Time: 45 to 55 minutes

Makes: A 7 3/4 inch by 4 inch high round loaf
1 3/4 pounds / 794 grams

Equipment: La Cloche or a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. A baking 
stone or baking sheet.

Dough Starter (Sponge)
all ingredients at room temperature

3/4 cup [about 4 oz / 117 g]  bread flour
3/4 cup [3.3 oz / 95 g]       rye flour
1/2 tsp [1.6 g]               instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp [0.6 oz / 18.7 g]  sugar
1/2 Tbsp [4.6 g]              malt powder
   - or -
  1/2 Tbsp [10.5 g]           barley malt syrup or honey
    - or -
  1/2 Tbsp [6.2 g]            sugar
1 1/2 cup [12.5 oz / 354 g]   water, 70 - 90 F

1) Early in the morning or the night ahead make the dough starter (sponge)

In a large bowl (mixer bowl if using a stand mixer), place the bread flour, 
rye flour, yeast, sugar, malt, honey, or sugar, and water. Whisk until very 
smooth to incorporate air, about 2 minutes. The dough will be the 
consistency of a thick batter. Scrape down the sides. Set it aside covered 
with plastic wrap while making the flour mixture.

Flour Mixture
all ingredients at room temperature

2 1/4 cup [about 12.3 oz / 351 g]  bread flour
1/2 + 1/8 tsp [2 g]                instant yeast
2 Tbsp [0.5 oz / 14 g]             caraway seeds
1/2 Tbsp [0.3 oz / 10.5 g]         salt
1/2 Tbsp [0.25 oz / 6.7 g]         vegetable oil
2 tsp [about 0.5 oz / about 16 g]  cornmeal, for sprinkling
unsalted butter
softened fresh radishes, sliced
fleur de sel or kosher salt

2) Combine the ingredients for the flour mixture

In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, yeast, caraway seeds, and 
salt. Gently scoop it onto the sponge to cover it completely. Cover it 
tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 1 hour or up to 4 
hours at room temperature. (During this time he sponge will bubble through 
the flour mixture in places. This is fine.)

3) Mix the dough

Machine Method
Add the oil and with the dough hook mix on low speed (#2 Kitchen Aid) about 
1 minute, until the flour is moistened to form a rough dough. Raise the 
speed to medium (#4 Kitchen Aid) and mix 10 minutes. The dough should be 
very elastic, smooth, and jump back when pressed with a finger tip. Turn 
the dough onto a counter and knead in a little extra flour if the dough is 
at all sticky. (The dough should weigh about 2 pounds 1.7 ounces / 965 

Hand Method
Add the oil and with a wooden spoon or one hand, stir until the flour is 
moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together and then 
scrape it onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, 
enough to develop the gluten structure a little, adding as little of the 
reserved flour as possible to keep it from sticking. Use the bench scraper 
to scrape the dough and gather it together as you knead it. At this point 
it will be a little sticky. Cover it with the inverted bowl and allow it to 
rest for 20 minutes. (This resting time will make the dough less sticky and 
easier to work with.)

Knead the dough for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it is very smooth and 
elastic. If the dough is sticky, add some of the remaining reserved flour 
or a little extra. (The dough should weigh 2 pounds 1.7 ounces / 965 grams.)

Both Methods

4) Let the dough rise
Place the dough into a 2 quart dough rising container or bowl, greased 
lightly with cooking spray or oil. Press down the dough and lightly spray 
or oil the top of the dough. Cover the container with a lid or plastic 
wrap. With a piece of tape mark on the side of the container approximately 
where double the height would be. Allow the dough to rise (ideally at 75 F 
to 80 F) until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Using an oiled spatula or dough 
scraper, remove the dough to a floured counter and press down on it gently 
to form a rectangle. Give it one business letter turn. Again, oil the 
surface, cover, mark where double the height will now be and allow it to 
rise for and allow to rise a second time about 45 minutes. (It will fill it 
fuller than before because it is puffier with air).

5) Shape the dough and let it rise
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and press it down to flatten 
it slightly. Shape by rounding the dough into a ball about 5 1/2 inches by 
2 1/2 inches high (I) and set it on a cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet or 
Cloche bottom. Cover it with a large container or oiled plastic wrap. Let 
the dough rise until almost doubled) and when pressed gently with a finger 
the depression very slowly fills in, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. 
It will be about 7 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches high.

6) Preheat the oven

1 hour before baking preheat the oven to 450 F . Have the oven shelf at the 
lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it and a cast iron 
pan or sheet pan on the floor of the oven before preheating.( If using La 
Cloche, preheat the dome along with the oven.)

7) Slash and bake the bread
With a sharp knife or straight edged razor blade, make 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep 
slashes in the top of the dough. (I like to make 2 slashes about 6 inches 
apart in one direction and a second 2 slashes perpendicular to them.) If 
using La Cloche, carefully place the hot Cloche top onto the base and 
quickly but gently set it on the hot stone or hot baking sheet. 
Alternatively, mist the dough with water, quickly but gently set the baking 
sheet on the hot stone or hot baking sheet and toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes 
into the pan beneath. Immediately shut the door and bake 15 minutes. Then 
lower the temperature to 400 F and continue baking 30 to 40 minutes or 
until the bread is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes 
out clean. (An instant read thermometer inserted into the center will read 
about 190 F.)

If not using La Cloche, halfway through baking, with a heavy pancake turner 
lift the bread from the pan and set it directly on the stone so that it is 
turned halfway around for even baking.

8) Cool the bread
Remove the bread from the oven, lift it from the pan, and transfer it to a 
wire rack to cool completely, top-side up.

Ultimate Full Flavor Variation
For the best flavor development, in step #2 allow the sponge to ferment for 
1 hour at room temperature and then refrigerate it for 8 or up to 24 hours. 
If using the hand mixing method, remove it from the refrigerator about 1 
hour before going on to the next step of mixing the dough.)

Pointers for Success
If using La Cloche, remove it for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. (For 
a double recipe larger loaf you will need to bake it 50 to 65 minutes after 
lowering the temperature to 400 F.

I prefer bread flour to unbleached all purpose for this bread because it 
results in a chewier texture.

I do not use the autolyse technique (allowing the dough to rest and hydrate 
? evenly absorb the water -- before adding the salt) because I want this to 
be a relatively stiff dough which results in a dense texture so I'm not 
concerned with adding extra flour.

I like to use cornmeal for the bottom of the bread simply out of deference 
to tradition.

The Rose Ratio
flour: 100%
bread: 83.1%
rye: 16.9%
water: 62.9%
sugar: 3.3%
yeast: 0.64%
caraway seeds: 2.5%
salt: 1.9%
oil: 1.2%